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  • Class a over class a/b sound

    are tubes Amos always class A ?
    What does class a sound as opposed to class a/b some claim the first few watts of class a Ina class a/b sound better and one can hear the change
    i know some On my way! Massive pure class a amps why can someone please explain also if it's better why don't more companies make them.
    Goldman comes to mind making very expensive devices but I don't recall them making any .
    A little inside info please .
    analog stuff.
    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
    sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
    new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
    thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
    thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
    kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
    phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
    speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
    mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
    digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
    Dacs lampi various

  • #2
    Biggest argument against Class A amps is their inherent inefficiency. They run at full power at idle. They actually cool down when run hard. Most Class A amps used to be low power (probably 25 watts or less) and high power Class A amps not only consume tremendous amount of power, but their designs will always make them very expensive.
    Steve Lefkowicz
    Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
    -
    Analog 1: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 10X5 MK.II Low, iPhono2/iPowerX; Analog 2: Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Talisman S, iFi iPhono.
    Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 28, Tidal HiFi, Qobuz Studio), iFi NEO iDSD, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2, Audioquest Jitterbug.
    Electronics: DIY passive line-stage, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso
    Speakers: Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7
    Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Audioquest Evergreen
    Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Audioquest Type 5
    Digital cables: Aural Symphonics USB, iFi Gemini twin-head USB.
    Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan rack, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
    Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Burson Conductor Virtuoso Amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro 600 ohm, DT770 Studio 80 ohm, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More Triple Driver IEM

    Comment


    • #3
      Class A is the purest sound, but it comes at a heavy price in terms of heat and 'wasted' energy due to the inefficiency of Class A designs. They are more expensive to build for a given wattage. All of these reasons factor into why most amps are Class A/B and why more of them aren't manufactured. And no, tube amps aren't almost always Class A. Rather, they are almost always Class A/B.
      Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

      Comment


      • #4
        All great answers n a big thanks but how about the sound in both pure and a/b when they SW over ?
        analog stuff.
        otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
        otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
        sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
        new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
        thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
        thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
        kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
        phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
        speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
        mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
        digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
        Dacs lampi various

        Comment


        • #5
          there's a subliminal connotation, i believe, between the term "Class-A" and "grade-a" with the inference that it's "better than" or "best." by fair means or foul, this is the message conveyed because some 'philes that claim its superior can't even define what it means or how class A/B is different. I've owned amps with both topologies and I like both, coincidently the one's that stayed in my system the longest happen to be A/B. IMHO there's no hard fast rule that one topology is clearly superior to the other.
          TechDAS | Graham Eng | ZYX | B.M.C. | Boulder | Magico

          "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by mep View Post
            Class A is the purest sound, but it comes at a heavy price in terms of heat and 'wasted' energy due to the inefficiency of Class A designs. They are more expensive to build for a given wattage. All of these reasons factor into why most amps are Class A/B and why more of them aren't manufactured. And no, tube amps aren't almost always Class A. Rather, they are almost always Class A/B.
            Just a question, but aren't all single ended tube amps Class A? I'm not sure on that but I remember reading that somewhere a long time ago.
            Steve Lefkowicz
            Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
            -
            Analog 1: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 10X5 MK.II Low, iPhono2/iPowerX; Analog 2: Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Talisman S, iFi iPhono.
            Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 28, Tidal HiFi, Qobuz Studio), iFi NEO iDSD, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2, Audioquest Jitterbug.
            Electronics: DIY passive line-stage, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso
            Speakers: Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7
            Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Audioquest Evergreen
            Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Audioquest Type 5
            Digital cables: Aural Symphonics USB, iFi Gemini twin-head USB.
            Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan rack, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
            Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Burson Conductor Virtuoso Amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro 600 ohm, DT770 Studio 80 ohm, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More Triple Driver IEM

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks all for the feed back as in hi end audio myths left alone long enough become facts
              my krells and now my Aragon's stay hot meaning they do begone in class a
              now if I play low or loud I cannot determine any change
              I also use many headphones with both tube and SS Amps
              i do not recall a thread on class a or a/b for them
              I can email Baskin king and ask him. I know when paul
              of ps audio released his new Amps both him and Arnie touted how many watts it played before it crossed over to a/b claiming hiw much of our music can be played in class a with there new Amps. Again no actual description lol
              many myths in digital I can debunk or others can
              but when something like this is claimed and it's purely about hearing it who do you beleave ?
              analog stuff.
              otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
              otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
              sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
              new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
              thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
              thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
              kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
              phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
              speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
              mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
              digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
              Dacs lampi various

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Steve Lefkowicz View Post

                Just a question, but aren't all single ended tube amps Class A? I'm not sure on that but I remember reading that somewhere a long time ago.
                Yes, all SE tube amps have to be Class A by design. Most SE tube amps have one output tube per channel and it has to amplify both halves of the waveform. Even when you have a SE amp with multiple output tubes for increased power, they are still amplifying both halves of the waveform. I should have made that clear.
                Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Alrainbow View Post
                  are tubes Amos always class A ?
                  What does class a sound as opposed to class a/b some claim the first few watts of class a Ina class a/b sound better and one can hear the change
                  i know some On my way! Massive pure class a amps why can someone please explain also if it's better why don't more companies make them.
                  Goldman comes to mind making very expensive devices but I don't recall them making any .
                  A little inside info please .

                  In SS, good ones like Vitus, at a lower price Symphonic Line Kraft, older Krell FPBs, the Luxman m800s, Lamm 1.2, got their liquidity and fluidity through that class A sound. Vitus is a very good example. Some like the new Luxman m900 and others do an initial class A then shift to class AB, but still sounds good. Vitus relative to its A, does not sound good in AB. Class AB amps like Spectral are faster but you won't get that fluid sound, you will get a very different sound. There are exceptions like Dan Agostinos and Mike's Dartzeel which sound very good in AB

                  Some push pull tube amps are A, most SE amps are A.

                  Comment


                  • MylesBAstor
                    MylesBAstor commented
                    Editing a comment
                    While I agree with the Vitus comments, they also have to be taken in light of it takes hours for the unit to really warm up and sound its best.

                    The Audia Flight is A/B but biased for like 10 or so watts in A IIRC. The amps got pretty hot and the kitties thought they were the nicest sauna.

                • #10
                  Amps can be class A or AB regardless of tube or solid state.

                  Class A traditionally has less distortion but is usually less efficient.

                  Now for the nuances:

                  There are two forms of class AB in tubes. AB1 and AB2. The difference is grid current. In a class AB1 amp, there is no grid current, just like an a class A1 amp. AB2 of course makes more power and potentially more distortion.

                  In solid state, its simply AB and the big question is where the amp goes from A to AB. Regardless of where it does this, its an AB amp. There is no such thing as 'enriched AB' or the like in engineering terms- that's just marketing.

                  It gets worse! Those reading carefully may have noticed my use of 'A1' above. Its also possible in a tube amp (single-ended or push-pull) to build an amplifier that is class A2. This is an amplifier where the outputs conduct all the way through the cycle up to full power, but during part of the waveform grid current is present. A2 allows for considerably more output power than a class A1 amplifier, but not as much as class AB1. (Our amps are class A2.)

                  The grid current thing means that the driver circuit has to be designed to be able to manage the current in the grid circuit.





                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Holy cow I got a migraine reading your post but do very much appreciate the post. I use Aragon's 8008BB ON my setup input is balanced. I read they are class up to about 26 watts. Is this true class purely like a class a amp that stays in class a. ??
                    analog stuff.
                    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
                    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
                    sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
                    new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
                    thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
                    thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
                    kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
                    phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
                    speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
                    mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
                    digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
                    Dacs lampi various

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      I could fry eggs on a Nelson Pass SS clone amp!

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        This article may help clear up some misconceptions about different classes of amplifiers.

                        http://www.audioholics.com/audio-amp...lifier-classes
                        McIntosh MC452, D150, MCT450 - Klipsch P-37F and PMC MB2 SE -(Wireworld cabling)

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by WKM View Post
                          This article may help clear up some misconceptions about different classes of amplifiers.

                          http://www.audioholics.com/audio-amp...lifier-classes
                          Thanks. BTW, since when are SET amps prone to hum? Maybe some cheap, kits but not any that I've heard.
                          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                          ________________________________________

                          -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                          -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                          -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                          -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                          -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                          -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                          -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                          -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                          -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                          -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            My amps (CH Precision M1s) are A and AB, Pure Class A for the signal stages and AB for the power section. Power supplies are totally separate and each chassis requires two power cords, one for each. Over the years I personally preferred Lamm's A/AB M2.2 over the M1.2 Reference just because of the bass. I could get close to the 1.2's midrange with Valvo and Amperex tubes. When listening just to classical or Jazz the majority of the time the M2.2s are running in its A bias range anyway. It is with non-acoustic music where suddenly my speakers start gobbling up watts like a pothead eats up Cheetos. There's something about guitar amps and layer upon layer of artificial reverb that eats all this power up.

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